Maunawili Demonstration Trail

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This 10-mile one-way hike stretches from the Pali to Waimanalo. The trail hugs the side of the Ko’olaus and affords great views along the way. At 3 miles into the trail you can turn left on a junction trail to the Maunawili falls. The trail is a good one for kids – it’s safe and shady.

The trail down the ridge to Maunawili Falls is 0.7 miles long and is ok for the kids, although footing can be tricky when wet, and there are some steep parts. The trail from the falls to the Maunawili Falls trailhead is ridiculous – very deep mud, slick, Croc-sucking as we call it. You will definitely go down, even with a trekking pole. It can be funny if you are game for it (we are) but if you have a kid in the pack or in your arms you will be very irritated at the treachery by the end and not having a good time of it. I say that after attempting to fall in love with this well-worn trail with my second child in the pack three years after my initial induction. I did not fall in love. The demonstration trail is wonderful, and so is the ridge hike. From the Pali side of the demonstration trail, it’s 3 miles to the connector trail junction (the ridge to the falls), then 0.7 to the falls, and 5.7 miles total if you go straight through to the Maunawili Falls trailhead. I see most people estimate 2 miles to the connector trail – it’s 3 miles. I carried a GPS today. Funny thing about this trail, if you ask people on the trail for estimates,they are off by about 50% on timing and distance! Carry your own GPS and be informed before you set out. 🙂

Exertion:Relatively level trail – walk as far as you like before turning around!
Treachery:Very low – just use general caution near trail edges in case there is a drop-off into the brush.
Sun exposure:Low – it’s fairly shady.
Lunch spot:While there are no picnic tables, you have views at just about every turn. Just find a comfortable spot to turn around and enjoy.

Trailhead
The trailhead is off the Pali Hwy (on the Kailua side) near the hairpin turn lookout. The Waimanalo trailhead is on the right side of Waikunpanaha St. just after Mahiku Pl.

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